Spirit Magazine - September 2013 - (Page 12)

At Southwest Airlines and our subsidiary, AirTran Airways, we don’t think of ourselves as a Company of planes; we are a Company of People. Sure, we offer a service, or what we like to call our Purpose: to connect you to what’s important in your life through friendly, reliable, and lowcost air travel. But transporting you to and from your destination is only what we do. How we do it and who we are, or our “secret sauce,” is found in our single greatest asset—our People. We know that the difference between flying an airline and being a loyal Customer can be as simple and meaningful as the human connections made along the way. We have always “hung our hat” on providing the best Customer Service in the business, at a low cost. Now, I realize that almost any company would (and should) say that, so you may be wondering, “What’s the difference at Southwest?” The difference is this: Everything begins and ends with our People. If we keep our Employees happy and engaged, they Customer Service in Action I received a note from a Customer who recently traveled with her husband and two children from Lubbock, Texas, to Orlando, Florida, for a vacation at Walt Disney World. Their youngest son, Kenneth, a sixth grader, realized upon arrival in Orlando that he had lost his homework pass. They continued their vacation, assuming it was gone for good. When they returned home, they found a message on their answering machine from a Flight Attendant named Roy, informing them that he had found Kenneth’s homework pass and wanted to mail it to him. As you can imagine, the family was very appreciative. Kenneth says, “Roy is awesome!” I couldn’t agree more! will keep our Customers happy, who will reward us with their loyalty. That repeat business helps our bottomline and creates value for our Shareholders. Our People formula is pretty simple: We hire for attitude and train for skill. Fortunately, because of our Brand rankings, great pay and benefits, history of no layoffs or furloughs, and our world-famous Culture, a lot of great folks want to work at Southwest. This means our pool of potential Employees is chockfull of the best and brightest. In fact, last year we received 114,845 résumés and only hired 2,499 candidates. (A person has a better chance of getting into an Ivy League university than getting hired at Southwest.) We take great pride in hiring the right People and spend a lot of energy on doing so. Once onboard, we don’t focus intensely on rules or policy applications, except those related to Safety. Instead, we give our Employees the Freedom to be themselves, to do the right thing, and to take care of our Customers. But we do have one rule that overrides all others, and that is The Golden Rule—treating others as you wish to be treated. We’ve found over our 42-year history that if we hire People with passionate Servant’s Hearts and empower them to do what’s right, they will consistently surprise, delight, and amaze our Customers. By building a Company that is People-centric, we have built the most successful and profitable airline with the best Customer Service in the history of commercial aviation. Thanks for coming along for the ride! Gary Kelly Chairman, President, and CEO Southwest Airlines 12 SPIRIT SEPTEMBER 2013 PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAN SELLERS + Gary’s Greeting Making Connections

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Spirit Magazine - September 2013

Gary's Greeting
Gary's Greeting en Español
Star of the Month
Freedom Story
From the Editor
Your Words
Your Pictures
Media Center
Eat Drink Sleep
The Numbers
Chomp, Chomp
"Are You Famous Amos?"
Community Outreach
Products and Services
Flight Service
Terminal Maps
Rapid Rewards Partners
Route Map
The "If" List

Spirit Magazine - September 2013